She has a fascinating section devoted to the 12 "types" of parents who neglect their children's needs. If you're a parent, you may find yourself cringing with self-recognition. It's easy to think of authoritarian or selfish parents as being neglectful of their children's emotional needs. But Dr. Webb shows that being too permissive with one's children is another form of neglect, because children seek guidance, boundaries, and leadership in order to feel safe, secure, and confident. Being a parent who's too achievement-focused can also lead to CEN. We expect the depressed parent, the narcissistic parent, or the addicted parent to be among the 12 types. But we don't often remember that parents may neglect their kids' emotional needs when they're grieving, or when they're in a financial or health crisis, and simply don't have the personal resources to spare.
For parents, Dr. Webb offers some highly effective ways to address children's emotional needs. They aren't complicated techniques or major behavioral changes. But they make an enormous difference in a young person's psyche and emotional well-being.
Dr. Webb addresses the final chapter of her book to therapists, with helpful technical information about the symptoms and causes of Childhood Emotional Neglect, diagnostic and treatment options for CEN, and research and resources for further study.
I highly recommend Running on Empty to anyone who feels that their emotional needs weren't adequately met growing up. That may cover most of the reading public! This is also a terrific book for parents. I guarantee that all who read this book will walk away with new and stunning revelations about themselves as children, adults, and parents.